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The Minimalist Guide to Spring Cleaning: Paring Down Clutter

Posted January 21, 2023 by Mike Lewis under Tips

The Minimalist Guide to Spring Cleaning: Paring Down Clutter

Spring cleaning is a great time to clear out clutter and simplify your home. As a minimalist, spring cleaning presents an opportunity to re-evaluate what you truly need and value. Here is an in-depth guide to minimalist spring cleaning.

Why Spring Cleaning?

Spring is a natural time of renewal and rebirth. The longer days and warmer weather beckon us outside, away from the cocoon of our homes over winter. Before enjoying the outdoors, spring cleaning helps create a clean slate.

Some key reasons for spring cleaning:

  • Clear out clutter: Clutter collects easily over the fall and winter months. Spring cleaning gives you a chance to clear out clutter and re-organize.

  • Deep clean the home: Spring cleaning allows you to clean the nooks and crannies that you don’t get to the rest of the year.

  • Assess belongings: The process helps you evaluate what you really need and want to keep in your life.

  • Renew energy: With clutter cleared out and a deep clean done, you can feel refreshed and re-energized.

How to Minimally Spring Clean

The minimalist approach to spring cleaning focuses on being intentional. The goal is to deeply declutter and clean without just re-organizing clutter.

Declutter First

Begin by decluttering each space. Go through items and determine what you need, what you love, and what can be removed:

  • Keep items you use regularly and bring you joy
  • Donate/sell/recycle items you no longer need
  • Trash broken or worn out items

Ask these questions as you declutter:

  • Do I love this item?
  • Do I use it?
  • Does it serve a purpose or fit my lifestyle?
  • Have I used it in the past year?

Out With the Old

Focus on clearing out old and unused items. Examples:

  • Clothes – Donate or consign clothes that no longer fit or you haven’t worn in over a year.
  • Books/media – Donate books you’ll never re-read. Sell or donate CDs, DVDs, and games you don’t use.
  • Papers – Shred and recycle papers and documents you don’t need to store.
  • Toys – Donate toys and games your kids have outgrown.
  • Food – Throw out expired foods and old spices. Donate unopened non-perishables.

Deep Clean

With clutter cleared out, you can deep clean each room. Target less cleaned areas like:

  • Window sills and tracks
  • Walls and baseboards
  • Ceiling fans and lights
  • Furniture cushions and crevices
  • Appliances – under and behind refrigerator, oven, etc
  • Carpets, floors, and upholstery

Use natural cleaning solutions when possible:

  • Baking soda – Cleans, deodorizes, and scours
  • Vinegar – Disinfects, cuts grease, and removes mold/mildew
  • Lemon – Disinfects, bleaches, and deodorizes
  • Castile soap – Multi-purpose cleaning

Storing Smart

An essential part of minimalist spring cleaning is editing what you keep and storing it well.

Pare Down

Be choosy about what you keep. Avoid keeping items “just in case.” For items you keep, choose multifunctional and high-quality over single-use.

Some examples:

  • Kitchen gadgets – Opt for a few multifunctional tools instead of several single-use gadgets.
  • Linens – Keep only what fits your storage. Rotate out seasonally.
  • Craft supplies – Keep only what you use regularly. Limit multiples.

Use Functional Storage

Thoughtful storage helps keep clutter at bay later. Some tips:

  • Use baskets – Baskets neatly corral like items while keeping them visible and accessible.
  • Clear bins – See contents easily. Label bins clearly.
  • Shelf dividers – Divide shelves by item type or frequency of use.
  • Hooks – Install hooks to hang frequently used items.
  • Vacuum bags – Suck air out of bags to compress off-season clothes and linens.

Maintain as You Go

The work doesn’t end after spring cleaning. Maintaining order is essential.

  • Return items to their designated spots so they don’t get misplaced.
  • Don’t let clutter accumulate in entryways, kitchen counters, or other high-traffic areas.
  • Re-declutter problem areas regularly.
  • Do mini deep cleans during the year – tackle one room or area at a time.

Enjoy the Lightness

Spring cleaning the minimalist way allows you to reset and focus on what matters. With clutter and mess cleared out, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to welcome the renewal of spring.

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